Swaziland - Africa
Not only does Swaziland have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world, it is also one of the poorest countries globally. Over 40% of its population live below the internationally defined poverty line (US$ 1.25). With an unpredictable climate resulting in low agricultural output, rural poverty is yet another acute problem in Swaziland.
Children in Swaziland
Thousands of Swazi children suffer from HIV/AIDS, but for most families, retroviral treatment is simply unaffordable. Food is also too expensive for many families, with malnutrition afflicting one in ten children. Due to the high number of AIDS-related deaths, many children are forced to raise their siblings, missing out on school as a result. And according to a recent survey, a third of all girls experience sexual abuse and violence during their childhood.
Our work in Swaziland
SOS Children’s Villages began work in Swaziland in 1990, when our first community was opened by King Mswati III in the capital, Mbabane. Since then, we have continued to help vulnerable families in Swaziland, particularly at times of crisis. In 2000, we supported numerous families affected by flooding in the Mbabane area, while in 2002, drought and food shortages afflicted many parts of the country. On both occasions, SOS Children’s Villages stepped in to provide emergency relief to help families and children cope with the worst nature can offer. Through family support work, we have also helped many children and families living with HIV/AIDS, enabling children at risk of losing their parents continue to grow up in a caring family environment.
Our first Children's Village opened at Sidvwashini on the outskirts of the capital, Mbabane in 1990. SOS Children's Villages has recently extended its family support work in Mbabane to reach more parents and children affected by the various problems faced in the Swazi capital. We provide guidance on income generation, help mothers and fathers improve their parenting skills, and offer counselling where needed.
In 2001, we opened a new Village in the small two of Nhlangano in the Shiselweni region, one of the poorest areas in Swaziland. At our social centre at Nhlangano, we offer essential health and nutritional support to children, and work to ensure more children benefit from an education through scholarships and literacy classes. We help parents boost their earning capacity through guidance on income generation, and work to enable them to provide better parenting to their children.
In 2009, we opened a new Village in a small town in Eastern Swaziland in the mountainous Lubombo region, one of the regions where HIV/AIDS has deteriorated families' capacities to protect, care for and support their children.
The SOS social centre in Siteki ensures that children have access to essential health and nutritional services, as well as education. We provide food assistance, educational scholarships, literacy classes and help with the renovation of homes
Family Strenghtening Programmes
Our medical centre in Mbabane reaches 1,500 people every month, providing basic healthcare, preventative medicine and all-round treatment for those suffering from HIV/AIDS. We offer these services to all members of the community, regardless of their circumstances or financial situation, and work in conjunction with local organisation the Swaziland AIDS Support Organisation (SASO).
At our medical centre in Nhlangano treats around 40 people per day, providing basic healthcare to adults and children, particularly those affected by HIV/AIDS. Again, we offer medication and preventative treatments and, as in the capital, we work with SASO to provide the best possible care. Every month, we reach 2,000 people from our medical centre in Siteki, offers a range of treatment from basic healthcare to preventative medicine. We also offer testing, counselling and treatment to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
SOS Children’s Village Association of Swaziland
Tel: +268 25058470
Fax: +268/422 08 77